New York Philharmonic Conducted by Eugen Jochum – March 31, 1978 –
Eugen Jochum was one of the last of the great German conductors, a contemporary of Wilhelm Furtwangler, he was much revered throughout the world and was highly sought-after as guest conductor. His many recordings are still in print to this day and his readings of Bruckner are considered practically definitive.
Here, by way of the New York Times from March 31, 1978 is a somewhat tepid review of this very concert by Donal Henahan:
EUGEN JOCHUM, the Bavarian conductor whom New York Philharmonic audiences are seeing for the first time this season, is anything but a new face, Now 82 years old, he has been a fixmore than half a century, and he is ture on the European music scene tor well known to record collectors as a specialist in the German symphonic repertory. Last night at Avery Fisher Hall, Mr. Jochum explored two substantial areas of that repertory, offering Hindemith’s “Mathis der Maler” Symphony and Beethoven’s “Eroica.”
The Hindemith was once programmed a good deal more frequently than it is nowadays, but since fashion is a notoriously fickle dame and she does her best to mislead us, the periodic revival of such onetime favorites is always a worthwhile idea. Mr. Jochum pleaded the case expertly for this triptych, a rather glum work drawn from the Hindemuth opera a the same name.
There are mystical overtones to “Mathis” that Mr. Jochum did not manage to evoke, but this was sturdy, Vigorous musicmaking of the sort that the composer himself provided in conducting his works.• For this listener, there is more, purely musical interest in the “Mathis” Symphony than in most Hindemith ‘works, and the Philharmonic gave Mr. Jochum an accurate, well registered reading that maximized the visceral appeal of its brassy sonorities. Not much can be done, however, to make the final pages, with their clumsv, peg‐legged rhythms, seem less tiresome.
The “Eroica,” which was the pith! other piece on this meaty program, found the Philharmonic playing at something under its best in the opening movement. One glaringly early entry threw things out of kilter at at a climactic moment, and sourness in the brass turned up at several points.
Needless to say, his guest appearance with the New York Philharmonic was enthusiastically received by the audience. Critics are another kettle of fish.
And you get to hear why.
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